You might not have heard, but we are playing the Rangers in the ALDS, starting today.
The Rangers are 4th in the AL in runs scored per game at 4.72 (Jay are 5th, at 4.72). On the defensive side, they are 3rd worst in runs allowed per game at 4.67 (Jays are best at 4.11).
I sent off some questions to Adam J. Morris of Lone Star Ball and he was nice enough to reply.
After the last series, what do you think the odds of us getting through this one without the benches clearing?
I don't expect benches to clear, unless someone is up 2-0 or 2-1 in the series and has a big lead late in the deciding game. Too much at stake for people to get ejected/suspended.
Cole Hamels has been great, but how confident are you in the rest of the starting rotation?
I'm probably more confident in Yu Darvish than in Cole Hamels...Hamels has had command issues off and on all season, though his history suggests he'll get right when the bright lights are on. Yu and Hamels are solid, though. Colby Lewis is a grizzled vet who relies on command of his 88 mph fastball and his slider working, and Martin Perez throws 94 mph sinkers but can't miss bats unless his secondaries are working. Both are capable of being great or being awful, but my guess is that, if they are awful, Banister will have a very quick hook.
You have an old friend of ours, Jeremy Jeffress. How is he doing? What do you think of him?
I haven't seen much of him. He got popped for a DUI that cost him several weeks, and has had just 12 games, with as many walks as strikeouts. I've been underwhelmed when I've watched him, but he made the playoff roster, albeit on the bubble. He's likely in a middle relief role for the playoffs.
If the Rangers win, who would you expect to be the MVP of the series?
MVP of the series? The easy pick is Adrian Beltre, but I'll go with Elvis Andrus as a nice redemption story.
Any chance Jeff Bannister forgets he has Sam Dyson in the pen? It worked out well for us when Buck Showalter forgot he had a closer. What do you think, would Bannister Bannister have made the same mistake as Showalter?
Banister last year showed a willingness to get away from roles in the bullpen. And really, unlike with the Orioles' situation, Sam Dyson isn't head and shoulders ahead of all the other relievers -- honestly, Matt Bush is probably the best reliever in the pen for Texas. So if he does forget about Dyson, I don't think it will be a Showalter situation.
The Rangers have a great record in 1 run games, why do you think that is?
Random fluctuation and a strong bullpen.